GM's Detroit plant is going all-electric starting next year

Marco Green
January 27, 2020

"This investment helps ensure that MI will remain at the epicenter of the global automotive industry as we continue our journey to an electrified future", GM President Mark Reuss said in the statement. Detroit-Hamtramck will become GM's second plant in MI making plug-in models as Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra bets on demand for electric vehicles that only Tesla has sold in significant volume thus far.

General Motors is spending $2.2 billion to refurbish an underused Detroit factory so it can build a series of electric and self-driving vehicles, eventually employing 2,000 people. "Our electric pickup will be the first of multiple electric truck variants we will build at Detroit-Hamtramck over the next few years". The company has plans to revive the Hummer nameplate for one of the vehicles.

GM's investment - which will include another US$800 million on supplier tooling and projects related to the trucks - saves a factory that was marked for closure over a year ago.

Since the fall of 2018, GM said they have invested more than $2.5 billion in MI to bring electric vehicles to market, including at the Orion Assembly Plant, GM Batter Lab in Warren, Brownstown Township and the Detroit announcement.

The plant's paint and body shops and general assembly area will receive comprehensive upgrades, including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling.

"Today's announcement builds on a new chapter in Michigan's automotive manufacturing heritage, proving once again that the vehicles of the future will be built, tested and deployed here in our state", Whitmer said.

GM CEO Mary Barra has promised an "all-electric future", with the company restructuring to raise cash in part to develop 20 electric models that it plans to sell worldwide by 2023.

This joint venture will supply battery cells for the electric vehicles manufactured at Detroit-Hamtramck. At that time the plant employed about 1,500 hourly and salaried workers.

The plant was previously the home of the discontinued Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and now produces the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala, which will bill both end production in February. It's still scheduled to be idled for several months at the end of February as renovations begin.

Workers at the battery plant likely will make less money than the roughly $30 per hour paid to vehicle assembly plant workers.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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